Former colleagues remember woman injured in Nairobi attack

Posted at: 09/23/2013 7:10 PM
By: Ashley McElroy, KOB Eyewitness News 4

One of the people wounded in the mall shooting in Kenya used to be a teacher here in New Mexico.

It seems like just yesterday Elaine Dang was teaching in room 16 at Crownpoint High School.

Staff and teachers were shocked when they heard Elaine was one of the many wounded in the Nairobi mall attack.

"I saw it on Facebook and the only thing I saw was that she posted 'I’m ok" so I wasn't sure what happened and I looked through other Facebook posts and I heard about the attack on Nairobi," Morgan Riedl, an English teacher said.

Before moving to San Diego and eventually Kenya, Elaine Dang was a geometry teacher at Crownpoint High School."

She came to Crownpoint with Teach for America in 2009 and spent two years teaching. Those who know her say she loves teaching and helping students succeed. She was known for her creative approach.

"She tracked her kids by quizzes called geo monsters so her kids in her classes were her 'geo monsters' so that was her creative way of approaching kids and getting them to like geometry," said, Principal Matt Jopek. 

And it's that creativity they believe sent her on the path to Kenya in the first place.

Her friends here in New Mexico hope she can quickly get back to her non-profit work in Kenya.

"I hope she has a speedy recovery and gets back to doing what she loves. Based on her Facebook she really enjoys her work out there," said Riedl.